<%@ Language=JavaScript %> Put a Name on it


Reflections on a House Divided

Put a Name on it  

"It's for the children."

You've already heard the story, but there are some vital points still left unsaid or not said often and loudly enough. Just one example of which is that - just as we've failed to brand our enemies in the War on Islamist Terror as what they really are - we've also failed to put a name on  other groups and individuals who threaten our families, children and traditions, and who do so right here at home.

Judith Flint.
 A Vermont librarian who prevented five state police detectives from having temporary possession of the computers in her - public - library as part of their effort to rescue a 12 year old girl who was then missing and thought to have been abducted. The girl - Brooke Bennett - was later found to have been murdered.

In the words of Ms. Flint  herself --

"The lead detective said to me that they need to take the public computers and I said 'OK, show me your warrant and that will be that,'" said Flint, 56. "He did say he didn't need any paper. I said 'You do.' He said 'I'm just trying to save a 12-year-old girl,' and I told him 'Show me the paper.' " (emphasis added)

A Vermont law that requires librarians to demand court orders in such cases had not yet gone into effect, so Flint was acting on her own discretion in demanding a warrant. The cops yielded and obtained a warrant eight hours later."  (emphasis added)

Is there anything else that needs to be said about her?

Amy Grasmick.
"What I observed when I came in were a bunch of very tall men encircling a very small woman," said the library's director, Amy Grasmick, who held fast to the need for a warrant after coming to the rescue of the 4-foot-10 Flint." (emphasis added)

Any thing more about her?

Yes, on both counts.
 First, that we have in this country a cadre of people who are capable of looking at a situation of this kind - one where the possibility of saving the life of a child was weighed against the infraction of a institutional policy - who will not simply come down in favour of the policy instead of the child - as evil as that is - but, who will also then have an "inner narrative" that places the persons who obstructed the authorities at the centre of the story - and as its tragic figure(s) - in place of the missing child. An "inner narrative" which then also goes on to identify the obstructers, and any who supported them, as its triumphant heroes as well. 

And second, that these persons - and others like them - are prime amongst those to whom we give our children for teaching, guidance, care and...safe keeping.
"Children's librarian Judith Flint was getting ready for the monthly book discussion group for 8- and 9-year-olds on "Love That Dog" when police showed up."

Third that - as a result of such doings and imaginings - these persons are feted by their colleagues and held up as models.

From the newsletter of the Vermont Library Association, an invitation, to  --

Celebrate Judith Flint

Arthur Milnes, guest commentator on Vermont Public Radio, celebrates Judith Flint of the Kimball Public Library in Randolph for her defense of patron confidentiality when the FBI appeared. Milnes:

Judith Flintís example gives me hope - despite the challenges on both sides of the border and in the wider world as our necessary war on terror continues.  While I have never met her - and probably never will - I am confident that to the children and families in Randolph she is a true friend.
(emphasis added)
Vermont Libraries.com

It is doubtful if the parents and friends of the murdered girl - Brooke Bennett, who was 12 at the time of her death - were among those for whom this invitation - for the celebration in honour of Ms. Flint - was intended, . Or, that they - her parents and friends - consider Ms Flint to be "a true friend" of theirs.

Who are these people, what - collectively - is/are their name(s)?
The American Library Association (ALA)

"The Fourth Edition INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM MANUAL includes the assumption "that intellectual freedom was an unalienable right and that age is not a morally relevant factor and that adults have themselves no right to determine for youth access to ideas."

The ALA not only seeks to influence the field of librarianship, but their official MANUAL OF PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS states that their membership is expected to support the ERA, the concept of a nuclear freeze, gay rights, opposition to mandatary AIDS testing, national health insurance, and minors' access to sexual resources both in and out of the library. The ALA has even publicly lobbied against the Boy Scouts' policy of not allowing homosexuals to be Scout Masters. Further they threaten that any Masters of Library Science program "is in violation of [ALA] standards" if school policy includes any discrimination against homosexuality or other "lifestyles" or orientations. "

What's Wrong With the ALA?
What the ALA policy statement on internet access looked like not so long ago
What they have been "brought to" after years of outside pressure and court rulings
�Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfilment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.� � ALA Library Bill of Rights
(emphasis added)
From the article
: Meat Puppets 

In other words - if you are a parent and are also exercising your judgment concerning the material your children are allowed to access, in the eyes the ALA - you are violating their "unalienable rights." And, at least in theory, it would also seem that, if you are the governing officials of a private - perhaps Christian - university, one whose founding principals were set in accord with the tenets of the Judaic-Christian tradition in regards to sexual ethics, and you actually upheld those tenets in practice as they applied to your institution, you might forget about having a masters of library science program that is certified by the ALA.

More centrally though, it would seem that the positions, resolutions and political agenda of the ALA on many issues could well stand in for those of the left-wing of the Democratic Party, as well as for those  subscribed to by self-described members of the "Progressive Movement" generally.
That those positions, resolutions and that agenda are not in keeping with the values shared by most Americans, the values they want conveyed to their children, or would find appropriate in the teachers and care-givers that they themselves would choose to guide their children and keep them safe. And, that in practice application of the agenda of the ALA has lead to a circumstance where public libraries are 
 no longer the safe havens for our nations kids that they used to be.

My proposal then is simple enough - take the American Library Association, Judith Flint and Amy Grasmick at their words and as indicated by their actions, and - begin to think of them as "standing in" for the left-wing of the Democratic Party, and the "Progressive Movement" in general. And do so when we go to the polls in November, in regards to candidates for the Senate and the House of Representatives as well as for the presidency. That, then and ever after, when we think of left-wing Democrats and the "Progressive Movement" the words, beliefs and actions of those two women and their professional organization should come immediately and vividly to our minds. Visual images of these "stalwart" ladies would be helpful in gaining and sustaining that frame of mind, but, sadly, I've found no pictures of Ms. Flint or Ms. Grasmic online so far. Perhaps though, this might do instead:

Brooke Bennett


All uncited quotations in the texy from:
Best of the Web Today - Judith Flint: Heroine or Jerk? 

(C) David Aronin 2008